GREATER OMAHA’S DEVOTION TO THE HIGHEST INDUSTRY STANDARDS AND THE BEST PROCESSES LEAD TO THE FINEST QUALITY STEAKS.
A family-owned business since 1920, Greater Omaha has remained dedicated to producing top-quality beef for wholesale purchase: now, for the first time, the company has added a new line of top-of-prime steaks available for purchase online.
“I believe that the company is successful because we have always been focused on very high quality product, and we cater to a market that demands the best beef in the world,” said Henry Davis, President & CEO of Greater Omaha Packing. The company was founded by Davis’s grandfather, Herman Cohen, in the heart of Omaha: one of the largest livestock markets in the world. Davis first began working for the company during summer vacation while in junior high and high school; he joined the company full-
time after graduating from the University of Denver in 1973.
Today, Davis credits the company’s location in the heart of the Midwest with access to some of the best beef in the world. Cattle buyers for the company source Angus and Hereford cattle within a 300-mile radius of the production facility; many other packaging companies import beef or purchase beef from other packers, reducing their opportunities to control quality. “That gives us controls that are unheard of in the industry,” he said. Greater Omaha frequently works with cattle producers for years, cultivating relationships and maintaining the best class of product. “The long-term relationships we have with cattle feeders stand out: decade after decade, they provide us with the highest quality cattle. We are fortunate to be located in Omaha where we purchase and process the high quality cattle.”
Greater Omaha is home to one of the most advanced beef processing facilities in the country, and holds its products to the highest levels of food safety. “We ship beef to 58 countries, each with its own Department of Agriculture with its own criteria and regulations,” Davis explained. “We’re able to satisfy those regulations and ship to more countries than any other beef packer.” Advancements in technology, and the updated workspace, allow for a streamlined process that gives customers the highest quality product. “We have one of the newest facilities in the industry, and when we designed and built it we wanted a facility that took the live animal under one roof all the way to a case ready product: ready for the grocery store case or to be put in a cooler with an ice pack to be FedExed to someone’s home,” he continued.
We really are a farm to table operation. People want to know where their food comes from and know it hasn’t been processed.
- Henry Davis, president & CEO, Greater Omaha Packing
Having the complete process under one roof with one company allows for tighter controls on quality, as handling, exposure, and oxygen all impact the quality of the beef. Instead of being cut into sides in one facility before being wrapped, frozen, and shipped somewhere else for further processing, the beef is carved into its final form before it’s ever been frozen. Minutes after it’s cut, the beef is sealed into proprietary TenderAge packaging: the packaging vacuum-seals the meat, keeping juices inside and allowing it to continue to age in the customer’s fridge for up to 30 days after the date of purchase. “We guarantee a 30-day fresh shelf life,” Davis noted. “Keep in mind, when I say fresh, this beef is never frozen. A lot of steaks that you buy online arrive frozen, and that’s a different product: like buying canned vegetables as opposed to fresh.”
Davis said the company began testing the TenderAge packaging two years ago, first with overseas markets. “We had a tremendous response, to the point it became a big focus of our business,” he recalled. “We had so much demand for the fresh product we were shipping all over the world. Recently, we began to do online steaks to merchandise another avenue for our beef.” For the first 95 years of the company’s history, the focus was on business-to-business wholesale sales, and the introduction of the online sales brought the company into the business-to-consumer market.
“When you buy our products, whether prime ribeye, filet, or New York strip, you get a quality you may have experienced only once or twice in the finest restaurants out of hundreds of steaks you’ve eaten,” Davis explained. “Our steak ends up in some of the highest end restaurants around the country — and we offered our three favorites online.” While the company previously didn’t do much marketing to the public, the company’s shift to selling to consumers has led to increased education and transparency with the public.
“We really are a farm to table operation. People want to know where their food comes from and know it hasn’t been processed,” he continued. “We haven’t tried to put our name out in front and advertise because so much of our business was wholesale, but the consumer wants to know where their product comes from, but they want that level of sensitivity to what they consume, and we’re willing to provide that information. They can get this Midwest beef and know it might be processed 10 miles from their home.” Davis takes pride in knowing that throughout the company, the product is processed without adding anything to the animal. “We never add any ingredients,” he said.
Davis personally enjoys all three cuts offered through Greater Omaha’s online store. “My personal favorite are all the cuts- but I prefer one of our prime ribeyes or New York strips. But our filets — they are just like butter,” he declared. The rigorous processes Greater Omaha uses throughout the entire process, from procuring livestock through processing, impacts the final product at every level. “They are so tender. When you take a prime animal and top of prime and not just prime — the country produces 5 or 6% prime and we produce three times that, and we produce the very top of the prime.”